Sometimes in an ever-changing market, it’s good to go back to your foundations. Even brick-and-mortar, established companies need to keep things fresh and revisit their brands over time. To be clear, this doesn’t mean that you should change your foundation – no, you should innovate by building off your foundation. What changes? Your brand approach and presentation, based on the needs of the market. Here’s the 3-phase cycle you should go through occasionally: reinforce, rediscover, and revise.
The first phase is to reinforce what you already have. Rather than completely changing or abandoning your foundation, just refresh your brand to make it stronger. Given the way our society has changed, constant innovation seems to be the only way to stay up top. But reinforcing your brand first instead of creating something entirely new will keep you stable when you innovate. Remind people who are you are, what you have to offer, and why they should be your customers.
Brand rediscovery is unique to each situation. Maybe you’re releasing a new product line and want to make sure it aligns with your brand. Maybe you have a strong foundation, but never put it together into a cohesive story – or you have a cohesive but complicated story, and you want to highlight its most important features. In any case, you should not only self-evaluate but also turn to an objective third party. The mirror you see your brand in can be like a funhouse mirror: what you see isn’t always the objective truth. Inviting select outside groups to come in, confront problems, and ask questions allows you to catch details you missed. The questions they ask, and that you ask yourself, are vital in determining what you’re doing right, what you can improve on, and what next steps to take.
Revisions should be based on what your customers want – they decide what they want you to be next. Right now, the era of the experience is back. A single product can have very different experiences. Think about buying a shoe online versus in-store: online, if you know your measurements, style preference, and other details, you have convenience and speed on your side. But the in-store retail experience allows you to receive a level of personal service and customer relations the online experience can’t match. If you start from your company’s experiential foundation, you’ll have a solid base that you are simply building on or renovating in different directions and iterations. If you’re having trouble deciding on a direction to revise and innovate in, go back to the brand rediscovery stage and ask more questions.
Reinforcing, rediscovering, and revising your brand shows that you are listening to your customers, paying attention to what works and what doesn’t, and actively looking for ways to improve and stay relevant. Whenever your brand starts feeling tired, or you just want to revisit it for whatever reason, take it through this cycle to give it some new life.
Copywriting by Megan Lee